CPS Principal Expectations
To fulfill our mission, we seek innovative, entrepreneurial, results-oriented school leaders with a deep sense of responsibility and commitment to the students in their schools and to the communities in which their schools reside.
CPS Principals are key levers for change and are critical to the success of our schools.
CPS principal expectations are in accordance with the CPS Principal Competencies.
AChampions teacher and staff excellence through continuous improvement to develop and achieve high expectations for all students
BCreates powerful professional learning system that guarantee learning for all students
CBuilds a culture focused on college and career readiness
DEmpowers and motivates families and the community to become engaged
ERelentlessly purposes self-disciplined thinking and actions
The CPS Performance Standards for School Leaders Rubric with Critical Attributes organizes the work of a principal with standards that fall under each of the five competencies.
Principals receive two formal observations conducted by their Network Chief. All Network Chiefs are certified as principal evaluators by the Illinois State Board of Education. After the observations, evaluators provide feedback to and share collected evidence with principals. Each principal has the opportunity to set goals with their Network Chief and submit a self-assessment.
CPS Principal Requirements
CPS Principal Eligibility
CPS requires that all principal candidates earn CPS Eligible status in order to be offered a Uniform Principal Contract. This policy applies to all candidates, both internal and external, and ensures that schools have the most qualified principal candidates prepared to succeed from the first day on the job.
CPS Principal Eligibility Process (Eligibility) is administered by the Department of Principal Quality. If you are unsure if you are eligible, please email CPSLeaders@cps.edu or call 773-553-1515.
Active ISBE Endorsements
- General Administrator (K-12) Principal Endorsement
All employees of the Chicago Public Schools must adhere to the Residency Policy for All Employees of the Board of Education. All officers and employees hired on or after the date of the residency policy will be required to be residents of the City of Chicago within six months from the day their employment begins.
How to Apply
To apply, complete and submit the CPS Principal Candidate Application Form and attach your resume, cover letter, and other materials requested by the advertising LSC. Additional attachments will not be accepted. Submit a separate application form with material for each individual school to which you are applying. All materials must be in PDF format only. (Save your document in PDF format prior to submission.)
Principal positions are generally posted for two weeks and may be posted again after the application deadline or upon request by the LSC. Candidates do not need to reapply for reposted positions.
Note, the Department of Principal Quality or the Department of Local School Council Relations cannot provide updates to candidates on the status of their application.
Find out more information about individual CPS schools on the School Profiles page.
Find out more information about Local School Councils role in principal selection.
Visit the Department of Principal Quality for more details.
Current Principal Opportunities (Vacancies)
LSC Principal Selection Process
Each Local School Council (LSC):
- Determines position requirements and additional application materials based on the vision, mission, goals and needs of the individual school.
- Receives all qualified candidate resumes and applications within three (3) business days following the Application Deadline along with verification of each candidate’s Eligibility status.
- Determines their own interview process and timetable.
- May vote to select a principal candidate at any time following initial screening of candidates but often hold multiple interviews in order to select the most qualified candidate for their school. Many LSCs host candidate forums which are an opportunity for the school community to meet finalist candidates.
- Will contact candidates directly to schedule and conduct interviews for their school.
LSCs: Please follow Principal Posting Instructions and Principal Posting Template. Deadline to submit post is Tuesdays by 4pm.
- LSC completes the Principal Selection Training provided by the Office Of LSC Relations prior to undertaking the process of selecting a principal candidate.
- LSC prepares advertisement for CPS Principal Opportunities.
- The LSC may seek feedback from school community on content of the ad.
- LSC votes to approve ad and LSC Chair gets approval of ad from the Chief of Schools.
- LSC Chair submits approved ad to the Department of Principal Quality by Tuesday 4pm for Wednesday E-bulletin.
- Ad must post a minimum of 10 school days.
The Department of Principal Quality compiles and reviews all applicant
Eligibility and sends a Candidate Slate, resumes, and materials to the LSC or PSC
Chair for review within two days of closing of ad. Note, Candidate Slate will indicate each candidates’ Eligibility.
- LSC or PSC reviews resumes against the Worksheet for Resume Screen and Resume Screening Guide (LSC Reference Guide Part 6 Forms 4 and 5).
- LSC or PSC selects potential candidates for interviews.
- If necessary, LSC or PSC repeats above steps until desired number of candidates is selected to advance to an interview.
- LSC or PSC conducts first and, possibly, second round interviews with candidates.
- LSC or PSC completes candidate Reference Checks.
- LSC or PSC presents selected finalist(s) to the school community in an open forum.
- LSC or PSC may provide an opportunity for teachers and parents to question finalizes and offer impression/comments after meeting candidates.
- LSC or PSC reviews and assesses feedback.
- If a PSC was formed, may recommend its preferred candidate to the LSC.
- LSC reviews recommendations of the PSC, if any, and selects finalist via public vote to award contract (7 votes minimum).
- LSC extends an offer to the selected finalist.
- LSC Chair notifies LSC Facilitator, Chief of Schools, and Principal Quality of selection.
- Upon acceptance of the offer, the candidate signs five originals of four-year Board of Education’s Uniform Principal Performance Contract. Distribute: (1) new principal keeps; (1) LSC keeps; (1) delivered to Network office; (1) delivered to LSC relations; (1) delivered to Department of Principal Quality.